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Frank (Corbie) Corbutt (1914–1997)

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Frank ‘Corbie’ Corbutt (1914-1997) coalminer, trade union leader 

Birth: 15 August 1914 at New Chum, Dinmore, Queensland, son of James ‘Jim’ Corbutt (1881?-1917), a miner, and Ann Elizabeth, née Halliwell, later Smith (1882-1962). Both parents were born in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England. Marriage: 15 April 1939 in St Paul’s Church, Ipswich, Queensland, to Hazel Lilley (1914-1994). Death: 1997 at Hope Island, Gold Coast, Queensland. Religion: Anglican. 

  • Frank’s father Lance Corporal Jim Corbutt was killed in action in Belgium on 5 October 1917, while serving with the 26th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force, during World War I, leaving his widow to raise eight children. Frank had to take a job in the mine two months before he turned 14.
  • In World War II Frank served part time in the Volunteer Defence Corps with South-East Queensland units, the 9th Battalion (April 1942–January 1944 and December 1944–October 1945) and the 6th Heavy Anti-Aircraft Battery (January–December 1944).
  • Coalminer at Aberdare mine, Queensland. Aligned with Industrial Groups. Vice-president Queensland Colliery Employees' Union (QCEU) 1952. He was described that year as a 6ft [183 cm] ‘athletic type who had worked in the coal pits without a break for 24 ½ years’. Defeated Tommy Millar for presidency in December 1952, but was beaten in turn by Millar in December 1954.
  • Stood unsuccessfully as Queensland Labor Party candidate for seat of Bremer in the 1957 State election when he was defeated by former QCEU secretary Jim Donald.
  • Brisbane Courier reported that Corbutt “once belonged to Silkstone-Booval Choral union and with his wife as accompanist sings with a clear voice at public and social functions”.
  • Later worked as a labourer in North Ipswich. Retired to the Gold Coast.

Pete Thomas, The coalminers of Queensland: a narrative history of the Queensland Colliery Employees Union. Volume 1 Creating the traditions (Ipswich, 1986).

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Corbutt, Frank (Corbie) (1914–1997)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 21 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


15 August, 1914
Ipswich, Queensland, Australia


1997 (aged ~ 82)
Hope Island, Queensland, Australia

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

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